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Assignment Design: Academic Integrity


Academic integrity is the shared responsibility of both students and faculty. While students must become fully knowledgeable of the Code of Academic Conduct, produce their own work, and encourage honesty and integrity among fellow students, faculty members’ responsibilities are both policy-related and pedagogical.

From an academic policy perspective, faculty members have the responsibility to:

  • Review classroom expectations concerning all aspects of academic honesty
  • Describe those expectations clearly in the class syllabus
  • Inform a student directly of any charges of academic dishonesty
  • Apply the Code of Academic Conduct procedures in a consistent manner
  • Determine the academic consequence of a student’s academic dishonesty

Pedagogically, however, instructors should consider academic integrity as they are designing their courses, creating assessments, and assigning projects. Faculty members can reduce incidents of academic dishonesty by:

  • Building support for researched writing
  • Clearly communicating policies & expectations
  • Teaching writing conventions and allow students to practice with low- or no-stakes assessments
  • Avoiding recycled or formulaic assignments
  • Engaging students in the process of assessment and evaluation
  • Discussing problems and offering strategies - within the context of the course, and to individual students
  • Determining if papers are the result of a deliberate attempt to deceive or the product of novice writing
  • Reporting all cases of academic dishonesty


Create a classroom culture of integrity by facilitating key conversations in your classroom:

  1. Discuss academic integrity in your discipline or field. What does integrity look like in your field? What are the professional consequences of cheating? Are there high-profile examples of cheating you can share?
  2. Clearly articulate what trust and fairness look like in your classroom. What expectations do you have of a fair and level playing field among your students? What are you expectations of fairness between you and your students?
  3. Explain why academic integrity matters to you. Why do you personally care about academic integrity?

Institute classroom testing best practices. Small changes in how you design and administer tests can make a big difference. The COD Testing Center guide provides tips and tricks for combating some of the top security issues in classroom testing.

Consider creating structured opportunities for students to learn from their “ethical failures.” In “The Learning Cycle: Harnessing The Power Of An Ethical Failure,” Tricia Bertram Gallant identifies a variety of structured experiences you could use to help students learn from their ethical failure, listing their advantages and disadvantages (38-42).


Academic Integrity - Dean of Students Office 

COD Library Academic Honesty Guide

Resources for creating a culture of academic honesty, deterring plagiarism, and encouraging academic honesty. Includes the following webinar content:

  • Testing & Proctoring Best Practices What are the top security issues in classroom testing and what can you do to prevent cheating on tests and exams? Presentation Slides
  • Preventing, Identifying and Dealing with Plagiarism How do you define, discuss, and deal with plagiarism in your classes? This webinar will explore student motivations for plagiarism present best practices for supporting student academic integrity. Presentation Slides
  • Plagiarism Resistant Assignments What assignment characteristics lend themselves to plagiarism? Learn what they are and how to avoid them. Presentation Slides
  • Creating a Classroom Culture of Integrity Prepare for the semester by building integrity into your classroom culture – whether you’re teaching online or face-to-face. In this session, we’ll discuss honor codes, definitions of cheating, and keys to creating a culture of honesty, integrity and accountability. Presentation Slides

COD Library Plagiarism and Writing with Sources Tutorial

The goal of the plagiarism tutorial is to provide students with information that will help them distinguish between plagiarism and novice writing; understand the purpose of citations; explain the differences between summarizing, paraphrasing and patchwriting; and identify resources for successful academic writing.



Bretag, Tracey. Handbook of Academic Integrity : with 42 Figures and 23 Tables. Edited by Tracey Bretag, Springer Reference, 2016.
Location: LB3609 .H363 2016

The book brings together diverse views from around the world on the subject of academic integrity. New technologies that have made it easier than ever for students to 'cut and paste', coupled with global media scandals of high profile researchers behaving badly, have resulted in the perception that plagiarism is 'on the rise'. For both established researchers/practitioners and those new to the field, this Handbook provides a one-stop-shop as well as a launching pad for new explorations and discussions.

Eaton, Sarah Elaine. Plagiarism in Higher Education : Tackling Tough Topics in Academic Integrity. Libraries Unlimited, an imprint of ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2021.
Location: LB3609.H363 2016

With considerations for students, faculty members, librarians, and researchers, this book will explain and help to mitigate plagiarism in higher education contexts. This text provides an in-depth, evidence-based understanding of plagiarism with the goal of engaging campus communities in informed conversations about proactive approaches to plagiarism.

Lang, James M. Cheating Lessons : Learning from Academic Dishonesty. Harvard University Press, 2013.
Location: LB3609 .L275 2013
Ebook Central link:

Nearly three-quarters of college students cheat during their undergraduate careers.  James Lang’s research indicates that students often cheat because their learning environments give them ample incentives to try--and that strategies which make cheating more difficult also improve student learning.

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